The poem is very like the Jerusalem in style: it would seem, in fact, to be a sort of continuation; an idea that is borne out by the verses with which its singular Preface concludes:—
And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountain green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen?
And did the countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark Satanic mills?
Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear: O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!
I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land.
'Would to God that all the Lord's people were prophets!'—Numbers ii. 29.
The Milton, as I have hinted, equals its predecessor in obscurity; few are the readers who will ever penetrate beyond the first page or two. There is also the same religious fervour, the same high, devout aim:
I touch the heavens as an instrument to glorify the Lord!
exclaims Blake in one place; and the reader is, with impassioned earnestness, besought to give heed unto him in the following line, which recurs incessantly:—
Mark well my words; they are of your eternal salvation!